When do we know that we have reached one?
Mile-stone (noun) 1. A stone showing distance to a place. 2. An important event. (synonyms: landmark, highlight, high point, sign, signpost)
With this definition almost anything we choose can be considered a milestone. I had always thought a milestone had to be not just ‘important’, but momentous…not just a ‘high point’, but a pinnacle.
I have been known for Celebrating as a raison d’etre. It’s more than just a pastime. What I hadn’t fully realized until just yesterday, is that although I am prone to celebrating outer events, other peoples accomplishments and victories…large or small, my own I gloss over and quickly move on to the next whatever it might be.
Coming upon this awareness…yet again…didn’t seem too ‘important’ at the moment it occurred, and in keeping with my habit, I quickly glossed over it. I had just completed the first phase of a project that had taken months of my passion and time. It didn’t seem ‘monumental’ to me at the moment, because…well…I knew it was just the first phase of an ongoing project.
What got my attention, much later in the next day, was my emotional state! I was feeling all kinds of emotions that didn’t seem correctly placed. Strong emotions that seemed more suitable to something really ‘monumental’. These kinds of signs tend to occur for me later at night, when I have slowed down enough to reflect on the day.
I began to realize that I had not celebrated my own efforts and upon acknowledging that, I gave myself a pat on the back and made a cup of tea. Neither of those actions had any effect at all in appeasing my emotional state, which was feeling a deep sense of undirected loss. Loss, I have become familiar with. Many loved ones, cherished ideas, hopes and dreams, including any kind of security or certainty have left my life, and recent years have seen a monumental ramp up in all of that . My rational mind scolded me and admonished me to ‘get over it’, because it thought my emotionality was about the completion of something and the loss of focus the project had provided for me. That might have even been true to some extent, but not completely accurate, because I have lots to look forward to in the next phases of this project.
It wasn’t until just before falling asleep that I realized that the emptiness I was experiencing had to do with the loss of people not focused direction. In the course of the last few months, I have had to choose where to place my energy in order to get to that completion point with my project. I had made a conscious decision to direct my energy inward and in so doing was forced to notice who was pulling on me without offering me any of their time, support or energy, and who wasn’t there at all. I began to delete them one by one…not from my heart or permanently from my life, but in energy. Intellectually, that action is compatible with my political views on energy conservation! It just seemed prudent and well…necessary and responsible for the times.
But the forced reality check of who made that list also made my heart hurt. The truth of unreciprocated love is a painful reminder of how isolated and self-absorbed any of us can become. I pulled back my outward extending energy and it was scarcely noticed by people who have mattered deeply to me. It’s not tragic but it’s been every bit as honing and edifying as the discipline I rarely have, to complete something. And it’s all good! This awareness is actually as significant and possibly a more far-reaching milestone than the completing of a goal or project.
Milestones are Important Events! How important or monumental is only as significant and individual as any one of us personally decides it is. I am a Celebrationist by nature. I have decided to focus my awareness on acknowledging and celebrating all the milestones…major and minor…that this miraculous life places before me…showing me the distance to a place! The place isn’t ‘out there’. When I remember that the ‘place’ is in my heart…I can never get lost. Just understanding and feeling this is a very momentous Milestone! Maybe it’s even a Pinnacle!